#HospitalityLeaders: Rami Sayess, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

What is your vision for Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay?

Our vision is to position Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay as the “hotel and resort of choice for business and leisure travelers” in the market. We bring this vision to life by focusing on service excellence supported by the exceptional quality of our product. Our property is undoubtedly perceived as one of the best within the Four Seasons portfolio. Quality, Service, Culture, and Brand are the pillars Four Seasons is built on, and our hotel is a living example.

What have been your biggest challenges (and successes) over the past difficult years?

The sequence of events I experienced while based in Beirut; the revolution, currency devaluation, people losing jobs due to COVID and eventually the third largest explosion in history resulting in the destruction and closure of Four Seasons Hotel Beirut were very challenging times. But the most challenging was having to see colleagues and friends losing their jobs due to reasons beyond anyone’s control. As a leader, you feel helpless and almost guilty for not being able to help! Looking back at the pandemic, which was a critical time for the entire world and our industry, you realize how important it is to work for the right company when things get seriously tough. Although we too had to make some very tough and unpopular decisions, they were done with dignity and thoughtfulness, and the result was apparent when those affected rushed to rejoin the Four Seasons Family soon as the opportunities returned post-pandemic. In 2022, business levels came back with a vengeance, exceeding 2019, which was the best year for our hotel, so it remains true that “the best is yet to come”!

Other than a great team, what qualities does your hotel have that make it stand out in Bahrain?

We stand at a great location with beautifully appointed rooms and suites and a wide range of facilities from dining and events to recreation and family-friendly areas. Since its inception, there was certainly no compromise on the quality of this property. A hotel of such luxurious and superior quality would be the #1 address no matter where it is located, Paris, Hong Kong, or New York.

As Regional Vice President overseeing several hotels & resorts, what have you learned to be the most important quality a hospitality leader should have?

Consistency, empathy, and clarity are essential qualities for a hospitality leader. Leaders are responsible for maintaining the stability in their organization and transparent and open communication with the staff, guests, owners, and third parties at all times. Being in hospitality also means expecting the unexpected and being ready for any scenario 24/7.  As Vice President, I guide and support our very capable general managers and help them focus on what is important for the company. Whatever we do, we must always provide our guests and employees with the Four Seasons experience because it is what they expect.

Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?

BE YOU! Don’t be fake or pretend to be someone you are not. Authentic connections are only established with genuine characters. This authenticity makes you the right person for the job and a true Four Seasons Ambassador. At the same time, don’t forget to enjoy the journey while working towards reaching your goal.